Washington Court House City Schools recognized first responders and dedicated a campus road to Steven Eric DiSario on Friday at the Washington Middle and High School campus.
DiSario, a graduate of the Washington C.H. High School Class of 1997, had been police chief in Kirkersville for only three weeks when he was fatally shot May 12, 2017 while responding to reports of an armed man at a nursing home in the city about 24 miles (39 kilometers) east of Columbus.
The ceremony began with the Washington High School men’s chorus performing “Tell My Father” and the Washington High School vocal ensemble performing the national anthem. Grace Bailey, sixth grade Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council member, led the Pledge of Allegiance and Joy Stanforth led the invocation. Superintendent Tom Bailey approached the podium next to introduce the various guests in attendance.
From state senators to county commissioners, mayors to representatives of the Washington Senior High School Class of 1997 and many others, there was no shortage of support for the dedication ceremony.
“In addition to recognizing our own local first responders, we are also here to remember and honor a fellow Blue Lion,” Bailey said. “The Blue Lion family is eternally grateful to all of the men and women who serve our nation and most grateful to those of you with us today for serving our great American city, Washington Court House. Each and everyday I have the privilege to come to work to try and make the Washington Court House City School district be the best it can be, but more importantly to help create an educational environment that gives our students a chance to be servants to others in the same way our first responders are servants to the public.”
Bailey continued by thanking the Washington Court House Fire Department, the Washington Court House Police Department, the Fayette County Memorial Hospital emergency medical technicians and the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office for their continued work to keep the community safe. Each group of first responders in attendance received a certificate and were recognized individually.
Students Ethan Campbell, Christina Luebbe and Eli Lynch helped to recognize these first responders by presenting the certificates. After each recognition, Mic Trenor performed a song on the bagpipes, including “God Bless America” and “Amazing Grace.”
Following remarks by State Senator Bob Peterson (R-Washington Court House) and State Representative Gary Scherer, Washington High School Principal Tracy Rose shared details about the life of DiSario. DiSario was born in Salem on Feb. 2, 1979 to Robin Walker and Thomas DiSario.
According to Rose, DiSario was a Boy Scout who worked his way to become an Eagle Scout. While attending high school, DiSario was a member of the Spanish Club, the Washington Court House Blue Lion Marching Band, Pep Band and Concert Band. He was a member of the Academy of Scholars his junior year, active in the Vocational Industrial Clubs of America, and the DARE program.
“After graduating from high school in 1997, Eric went on to earn his bachelors degree from DeVry University in business technical management,” Rose said. “Prior to becoming the chief of police of Kirkersville, Eric served in many law enforcement roles, including serving part-time as deputy marshal with the Brice Police Department, auxiliary officer with the Millersport Police Department, and in 2013 he had volunteered as an auxiliary officer for the Lithopolis Police Department.”
Members of the class of 1997 took time to present a scholarship in member of DiSario. Lisa King, Leigh Cannon and Jason Jones gathered at the podium to remember DiSario and to present Mariah Carter with the first DiSario Memorial Scholarship. Additionally, Colt Sever with the Washington Police Department presented Camryn Waldrop with a scholarship from funds raised by police officers, and presented the school with a memorial plaque for students to be able to see in the rotunda.
Finally, as the vocal ensemble gathered to perform “Something to Believe In,” Bailey unveiled a blue sign at the front of the crowd. The sign — which will be placed at the entrance to the campus off of Willard Street — read in white letters “Steven Eric DiSario Way.”
Reach Martin Graham at (740) 313-0351 or on Twitter @MartiTheNewsGuy